How do you feel when you hear the word “routine”? For some people, a good routine helps them to feel on top of the world, while for others it can sound like a prison cell! If you haven’t yet established a routine as an entrepreneur, this post is going to be for you. If you do it right, your routine should allow you to have more freedom in your life, not less!
Although routines can sometimes get a bad reputation when they turn into ruts, routines, when created from a place of alignment, can be the key to your freedom as an entrepreneur!
Each of us makes thousands of decisions every single day. From little ones to big ones, we are always deciding on things. Decision-making can actually take up quite a bit of brain space if you allow it to. Having a daily routine that you love and that serves you can help eliminate some of the brain fog that comes with trying to create your day from scratch every single day.
By not spending precious time each day deciding when you will start working, what you will do first, etc., you will actually be able to use that time to complete the tasks you need to and immediately get the ball rolling each day!
Having a constant and steady routine will also help make sure nothing in your business is falling through the cracks. If the regular tasks in your business are being done inconsistently, you may end up missing a crucial step, or forgetting to do the task altogether.
Your routine becomes the key to your freedom, when you use it to help make sure you are achieving your ideal level of work-life balance. By setting designated times for work and play consistently, you will won’t be unknowingly robbing yourself of either of those things!
An inconsistent schedule can make sticking to those healthy habits even more difficult! If you don’t know what to expect each day, you may end up substituting the time you were going to spend going for a walk with extra time working on a client project that you didn’t make enough time for the days before.
A routine doesn’t have to be strict, or detail every minute of your day to be effective! My daily routines ensure that I am getting the important things done, but also leaving flexibility in my day, which was something important for me in starting my business! So, where can you start in creating your own routines?
A pre-work routine is full of the things you’d like to make sure to get done before your workday begins. For me, it is important that I do not open my computer until I have made my bed, gotten dressed, and had breakfast. I absolutely love to start my day knowing that I have first taken care of myself and given myself the chance to begin my day well!
When creating your ideal schedule, I highly recommend including a healthy habit and a self-care ritual into your pre-work routine.
By putting healthy habits first in the day, it also helps me to prioritize them throughout the day as well. By starting out my day with self-care, I fill up my own cup, and then am able to fully serve my clients and be fully present for my team.
Having set “working” hours will not only be helpful for managing your work-life balance, but it can also help your productivity! If you know what time you will begin work each day, you will be less likely to put it off until you “feel” like it. When I first began working for myself, I definitely had those initial moments of basking in “not having a work schedule”! I mean, come on! It is so tempting to throw set working hours out the window, because hey, we all love freedom. But…
By setting daily working hours, you will also be saying out loud, for the world to hear, at which time you will not be working anymore, which can be a total blessing! Sitting in front of a computer for 10+ hours a day isn’t good for anyone, and by setting your hours, you will be helping yourself to avoid falling into that trap!
Knowing exactly when you will be working and for how long can also be very helpful for time management and productivity. When we have an unlimited amount of time to complete a task, naturally, we tend to drag our feet a little and the task takes us way longer. But, on the other hand, if we know that we will only be working until 3:00 pm today, we know that we need to get that task done and will likely move a little faster!
Since we are on the topic of time management, you may find it helpful to incorporate a time management technique or two into your daily routine, to help keep yourself on track during the day. Using the same method throughout the week can help your brain to know when it is time to work and focus, and when it can take a step back and relax.
One method you can try is the Pomodoro Method. How it works, is that you set a timer for 25 minutes. You will work non-stop, with no distractions, for the full 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, you get a 5-minute break. Working in short bursts can really help you power through your to-do list!
Another great tactic I have used, and see many other entrepreneurs use is “batching”! Batching your work simply means that you focus on one type of task, and you complete it in bulk. For example, when you are creating content for Instagram, and you film 4 Reels in one day, which you plan to spread out throughout the month. Completing tasks in batches can be amazing for productivity, because you are able to focus on one thing at a time.
We all know that multi-tasking ends up being less productive than just focusing on one thing at a time. When you say you want to create content for Instagram and you jump from editing photos, to writing captions, to filming a Reel, and planning hashtags all within a short amount of time, your focus will be so spread out and you may find yourself feeling more exhausted than you need to be! By focusing on one thing at a time, you will be able to keep your mind clear, get into a rhythm, and complete your tasks with clarity and efficiency!
One part of my daily routine is listing out all of the tasks that need my attention that day or week. I love lists, so I find it helpful to keep a written list on-hand at home, but I also use Asana as well.
When you are creating your routine, take a little extra time and think through (or write out!) all of the tasks you complete in your business. Then, go through and prioritize them from highest to lowest priorities. By knowing which tasks are on the top of your priority list, you will be able to create a daily routine that supports you in completing those tasks first.
In my routine, my top priority when I begin working is to review my to-do list, add any tasks I have in mind, and delegate them to my team as needed. I love starting my day knowing exactly what needs to get done that day! Following that, I always check my email and respond to anything urgent that may have come in after working hours.
The tasks you prioritize will be completely up to you, so it will be very helpful to check in on your own individual business, and know exactly which tasks are the most important for you!
An important part of a routine, is routinely scheduling breaks!
I’m talking, good, phone-free, email-free breaks! When I schedule my breaks, I always try to do something that brings me joy or helps me to unwind. If I can, I will get out of the house and go for a walk or go get a coffee. Removing myself from my workspace during my breaks is so helpful for getting my mind out of “work mode” and into a place where it can relax a little.
Breaks are necessary to help us to recharge and clear our minds, so we can come back to our work fresh and ready to go again! As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes feel the pressure to hustle and be on the grind all day long, but when we give ourselves ample time to rest, we will be able to show up with more clarity, creativity, and focus!
Every now and then, I like to spice up my routine by trying something new. I actually, secretly, love looking at inspiration for daily, morning, or nighttime routines!
The point of having a routine is to give yourself a productive and healthy amount of structure in your life, not to strictly dictate the way you live your life each day! If a part of my routine begins to feel like it isn’t serving me anymore, I will simply swap out that part of it with something new. I felt it was important to clarify this in this post, because what works for me, may not work for you! Or, you may also be tired of the same routine you’ve been using for the last few months. Trying out new things in your routine every now and then can bring some variety into your day, or give you something new to look forward to during the day.
Routines don’t have to be boring in order to be effective! Have fun with it, and design your day in a way that allows you to be productive, healthy, and in a way that you enjoy your daily life! Entrepreneurship allows us to have so much freedom, but sometimes, the best thing for us is a balance between freedom and structure. Which of these tips do you need to apply to your life this week?!